EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

EEVblog => EEVblog Specific => Topic started by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 11:57:00 am

Title: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 11:57:00 am
Some of the most commonly asked questions:
- How do you become a professional electronics engineer?
- Can you be a professional engineer without a degree?
- How do you get an engineering job or contract job?

The different grade of engineering are also explained.
Professional engineers, Engineering Technologists, and Associate Engineers.

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2018/12/federal-judge-finds-state-law-governing-who-is-an-engineer-violates-free-speech.html (https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2018/12/federal-judge-finds-state-law-governing-who-is-an-engineer-violates-free-speech.html)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tk13MijU4Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tk13MijU4Y)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Psi on January 29, 2019, 12:01:30 pm
Mr Bean with a soldering iron, what could go wrong.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Psi on January 29, 2019, 12:12:23 pm
If you want to make a big impression and really want to get an interview at a company here's one approach.

Make your CV as an A4/USletter sized PCB with black solder mask and gold/ENIG text. (US$74 for 5 pcs from elecrow.com)

The company is unlikely to throw something that looks that awesome into the bin :)
Even if you don't get the job your CV will probably hang around at the company for a while as a talking point :)

(Note the elecrow.com ENIG quality is a bit lacking, it thinner and doesn't look as 'gold' as the ENIG from other PCB fabs, but its cheap. PCBway is $165 for the same thing)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 12:13:46 pm
Mr Bean with a soldering iron, what could go wrong.

I'd pay money to see that episode.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 12:14:58 pm
If you want to make a big impression and really want to get an interview at a company here's one approach.

Make your CV as an A4/USletter sized PCB with black solder mask and ENIG text. (US$74 for 5 pcs from elecrow.com)

The company is unlikely to throw something that looks that awesome into the bin :)
Even if you don't get the job your CV will probably hang around at the company for a while as a talking point :)

(Note the elecrow.com ENIG quality is a bit lacking, it thinner and doesn't look as 'gold' as the ENIG from other PCB fabs, but its cheap. PCBway is $165 for the same thing)

Flex PCB is the go. But no one mails in their resume any more.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Psi on January 29, 2019, 12:16:34 pm
Flex would be cool! But it's super expensive.
(Edit: Actually it's not too bad now, $120 for 1pcs at elecrow. Was like $800 when i last looked into flex)

Yeah, you'd want to email a electronics copy as well.
Also have a short link/QR code on the PCB CV pointing to the pdf copy.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Brumby on January 29, 2019, 12:41:08 pm
I'll add my voice to the publication of a project being an avenue to attract interest.

I simply mentioned a digital scale hack I had done - just here on the EEVblog - and it caught the attention of someone from Israel who commissioned me for another project.  What I posted wasn't even a full project presentation.  It was just enough to demonstrate I had a technique that had worked.

While I underquoted for the total work involved (part of my learning curve) I didn't mind too much as I had now expanded my body of work and added my first international customer - all from the comfort of my bench.


All this happened because someone really wanted something and found me through a casual reference.  Imagine how much more impact a properly prepared project presentation would have.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: lpaseen on January 29, 2019, 12:46:41 pm
Back in the mid 80s I finished my 2+2 years of electronic education (swedish "gymnasium" so not official degree) but the work I started with was in computers. After some decades of computer hacking the electronic interest came back (when rpi came out) and since then I done several small and medium project as a hobby, biggest being a electronic enigma replica (http://meinenigma.com (http://meinenigma.com)). I was recently laid off from my job and I'm now starting to think about expanding my electronic interest/work from hobby to full time living. Given that I'm now less young I can't compete with people who done electronic engineering for 30 years so I'm aiming for simpler stuff.

My question is if it's some place where people ask for "can you make this rpi hat for me" or so, some kind of electronics hub that customers and people can meet?
I know that tindie has a "will do contract" but I don't think that's to much used.

/ps
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: johnlsenchak on January 29, 2019, 02:45:58 pm


Most of the electronic  manufacturing  jobs  in the United  States   have up and moved  to   China,  most  degrees  in that  field   are  pretty much worthless  in
my opinion. Most  tech high  schools  have given  up on electronic  programs  as  most teenagers  are not interested in doing this type of work any more
, so  why should they be interested in a 4  year college  degree ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: richnormand on January 29, 2019, 03:00:30 pm

@Dave:
Agreed with most of your points.
But PLEASE drop the strobe LEDs in the back. They do not add any added value to the video.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Otm831 on January 29, 2019, 04:46:48 pm
First off Hi everyone, long loong time viewer, first time poster!

I found this a really interesting video :)

I've always wondered if there was a route back in per se as my personal circumstances meant I wasn't able to first time round! Any advice from anyone with a UK perspective would be awesome!

So I several years back I got a place at a great Uni to do Electronic and Electrical Engineering (broad title but plenty of scope for finding an area of interest!), I particularly loved the semi-conductor / microprocessor architecture stuff. I got through to my final year, however, significant, and prolonged ill health, which is mostly behind me now, meant that I simply was not in a position to graduate. I was forced (not by anyone, just my ill health) to withdraw from my studies only needing like 45 credits worth of modules to actually graduate :'( (so less than half an academic years worth of modules) I was awarded a DipHE which I believe is akin to a more formal HnD for anyone who can make heads of whats that actually means! But I still feel a bit of stigma is attached to such awards as they arent a full degree, implying a dropout..... which has negative connotations, and ignores a multitude of reasons.

I've spent the last 5yrs working in an interesting industry (film) doing an interesting, techie type role. But my passion always will be Electronics....

I'm not in a position to afford the associated costs (unless UK tuition fees go back to being free!!!) of 'upgrading' the DipHE to a full BEng (basically jumping in with no real warm up opportunities to the final year of a Degree having been out of it for 5yrs) at either the original Uni, or any other institution. So what, if any, are peoples thoughts as to how I could (if even possible), work my way back in?

Thanks all and thanks Dave for the whole EEVBlog which allows me to still indulge a passion and has kept the flame alive!

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: ANTALIFE on January 29, 2019, 07:33:12 pm


Most of the electronic  manufacturing  jobs  in the United  States   have up and moved  to   China,  most  degrees  in that  field   are  pretty much worthless  in
my opinion. Most  tech high  schools  have given  up on electronic  programs  as  most teenagers  are not interested in doing this type of work any more
, so  why should they be interested in a 4  year college  degree ?

Hmm dunno about that, I would say as long as you did your own project on the side then having intimate knowledge of PCB assembly is a very good skill to have. That way you are more familiar with the do's and don't of PCB design for manufacture
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: JayNext on January 29, 2019, 07:34:25 pm
Hi, Otm831!

I'm working as a computer engineer here in the UK, and I work surrounded by computer and electronic engineers. I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you don't need a formal education to work as a computer or electronic engineer, the bad news is that it's going to take you an incredible amount of effort to just get an opportunity to prove yourself.

Your best bet is to somehow make your way into an internship and get yourself noticed by key people. I know many people around me have no problems hiring first year students for an internship, and those usually know jack, so the requirements range from "having a good attitude" to "last year PhD students". Another good news is that internships in our field are paid, so you won't have to starve or burn through your savings. If you do really well and prove yourself in an internship, you can ask for open positions. Once we know you, it's easier to trust you.

Don't get me wrong, it's going to be hard and you're going to be turn down without an interview many times (if not most), but it's not impossible to get a job without a degree and/or experience. Once you get your first job and after two-four years of success at your job, degrees become irrelevant. What your managers and colleagues think of you and your ability is what matters.

If you're thinking about relocating outside of the UK, though, you will need a degree. Ideally, at least a master's. But, there are people who finish their degrees once they are already on the job, so don't give up on that just yet.

I want to wish you good luck and encourage you to pursue the career you want. Whenever you feel like it's impossible (and you probably will, at least a couple of times before you get your break), remember that you live in the country of Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: IanMacdonald on January 29, 2019, 08:17:23 pm
Here in the UK it's hard to get a job without a qualification. Not sure what it's like now, but in my uni days the courses were all 75% maths and 25% subject material.

The public actually support this situation, and that arises because they don't understand what the word 'maths' means in this context. They mostly think it means arithmetic, and can't understand why it wouldn't be a good thing for engineer candidates to be able to add subtract or multiply. Well, yes, I'd agree that if you can't do arithmetic then you shouldn't go into engineering of any kind.

If the public saw what is actually included in the maths section of degree courses though, their jaws would probably drop in consternation.  :wtf:  Much of it verges on abstract philosophy, and has not the slightest relevance to engineering.  :-// For example, dissertations over why the number one is not the same as the number two. Or whatever.

The consequence is that all science and engineering courses have a 'Maths Barrier' associated with them. Unless you have a love of abstract maths, you are going to be bored to tears by 75% of the course work. If it was 25% you might decide to grit your teeth and struggle through. But when it's most of the course, not many have the determination to do that. 

The issue I see here (and have met in practice) is that it predisposes for degree holders in virtually all disciplines being primarily abstract mathematicians, and only secondarily engineers or scientists. Put these people in a lab or workshop and they quickly break all the equipment because they haven't a sodding clue how to do real work.  Put them in a software house and they will come up with all kinds of pie in the sky ideas. (Ever seen evidence of this? -Silly question.)

I used to train people in bench work, and the worst guys to deal with were the ones with professional qualifications. All they did was to write down and then memorize everything you said to them. This they mostly did by writing it out over an over again. They hadn't a clue what the words meant, though. Most couldn't solder if their life depended on it, they would cut themselves if given any kind of sharp tool, and perhaps most surprisingly, couldn't do simple mental arithmetic like say what current will flow in a 1M resistor with 1v across it.  :palm:

As for the use of the word 'Engineer' I reckon a certificate of competence in operating a steam locomotive should be the legal requirement.  :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 09:32:48 pm
I'm not in a position to afford the associated costs (unless UK tuition fees go back to being free!!!) of 'upgrading' the DipHE to a full BEng (basically jumping in with no real warm up opportunities to the final year of a Degree having been out of it for 5yrs) at either the original Uni, or any other institution. So what, if any, are peoples thoughts as to how I could (if even possible), work my way back in?

What subjects are left to do? Do you deem any of them to be hard/troublesome?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 29, 2019, 09:33:43 pm
This reminds me, maybe I should upgrade my IEEE membership to Senior Member just for kicks. I think I need other senior members for references to do that?  :-//
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Dries007 on January 29, 2019, 09:42:33 pm
Hi from Belgium!

Over here "Engineer" is a protected title, like PhD or doctor! You are not legally allowed to call yourself an "Ingenieur" (the translated term) without a 4 year Master of Science ("MSc")!
Then there is a difference between  "Civil Engineer" and "Industrial Engineer":
"MSc in Engineering" or "MSc Bio-engineer"  (title "ingenieur" or "Ir."),  "MSc in Industrial Engineering" or "MSc in Bio-sciences" (title "Industrieel ingenieur", or "Ing.")

Officially new graduates since 2004 only are supposed to only use the "MSc" title, and not the old "Ir." or "Ing.", since it's all unified under the bachelor-master EU unification thing (called the "Bologna Process"). No-one actually seems to do this though, everyone uses the old titles because all the HR people don't seem to know what an "MSc" is.

To get around the title restriction, many job descriptions/applications here use the English term "Engineer" instead, which then gets awkward when translated. People with a 3 year bachelors degree (called "Professional Bachelors" or "PBa") are often hired for EE or programming work, because they have more experience actually working, and they are cheaper.

I'm working on my MSc (Industrial Engineering) now, after first getting a PBa, because I wanted the practical diploma first. It hopefully will show prospect employers that I'm good on both the theory and practical sides. I hope to get into (embedded/low level) software.

The current job market for engineers is great, there is quite a shortage here, but a diploma is still required to get a good job. You won't get anywhere with just hobby projects, unless you have prior work experience.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: bigsky on January 29, 2019, 09:45:58 pm
I used to train people in bench work, and the worst guys to deal with were the ones with professional qualifications. All they did was to write down and then memorize everything you said to them. This they mostly did by writing it out over an over again. They hadn't a clue what the words meant, though. Most couldn't solder if their life depended on it, they would cut themselves if given any kind of sharp tool, and perhaps most surprisingly, couldn't do simple mental arithmetic like say what current will flow in a 1M resistor with 1v across it.  :palm:

I do agree with what you say about degrees being 75% maths - that was my experience as well (UK uni around 1990).

However, to suggest that people with professional qualifications are no good at practical work is going a bit far. We did plenty of lab work on our course, including constructing things, and I don't think anyone struggled. When I worked for a medium-sized company, again, we had dozens of electronic engineering graduates and they were all perfectly capable of wielding a soldering iron. Likewise, I never came across anyone who couldn't do simply mental arithmetic.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: frozenfrogz on January 29, 2019, 09:47:25 pm
(https://pics.onsizzle.com/nou-have-the-necessary-koalafications-memes-com-14000398.png)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 29, 2019, 10:05:15 pm
If you want to make a big impression and really want to get an interview at a company here's one approach.

Make your CV as an A4/USletter sized PCB with black solder mask and gold/ENIG text. (US$74 for 5 pcs from elecrow.com)

The company is unlikely to throw something that looks that awesome into the bin :)
Even if you don't get the job your CV will probably hang around at the company for a while as a talking point :)

(Note the elecrow.com ENIG quality is a bit lacking, it thinner and doesn't look as 'gold' as the ENIG from other PCB fabs, but its cheap. PCBway is $165 for the same thing)
The problem is that most larger companies have an HR front line, filled with people or even automated scripts which weed out people based on superficial criteria. There isn't a box to tick for "creative CV". "Incompatible with the system" and an automatic rejection is more likely, unfortunately.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Raolin on January 29, 2019, 10:20:27 pm
Hi, great video on how to get into the industry. Long time YouTube follower, but I joined the forum to comment on this video.

Unfortunately this isn't true for all of Australia.

Queensland is a special place where you do need to be registered thanks to the Professional Engineers Act 2002 - https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/inforce/2013-09-23/act-2002-054 (https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/inforce/2013-09-23/act-2002-054)

Part 7 details the offences, all carry maximum 1000 penalty units.

Specifically,
Quote
A person who is not a registered professional engineer must not carry out professional engineering services.

A professional engineering service is defined as
Quote
an engineering service that requires, or is based on, the application of engineering principles and data to a design, or to a construction or production activity, relating to engineering, and does not include an engineering service that is provided only in accordance with a prescriptive standard.

You can call yourself an engineer, but the term 'registered professional engineer' is protected.

The board doesn't investigate people randomly though, they will only investigate if a complaint is made about a service you provide or is referred to them following some other proceeding (say an injury or death from a product/system you've designed).
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: gildasd on January 29, 2019, 10:30:39 pm
Hi from Belgium!

Over here "Engineer" is a protected title, like PhD or doctor! You are not legally allowed to call yourself an "Ingenieur" (the translated term) without a 4 year Master of Science ("MSc")!
Then there is a difference between  "Civil Engineer" and "Industrial Engineer":
"MSc in Engineering" or "MSc Bio-engineer"  (title "ingenieur" or "Ir."),  "MSc in Industrial Engineering" or "MSc in Bio-sciences" (title "Industrieel ingenieur", or "Ing.")

Officially new graduates since 2004 only are supposed to only use the "MSc" title, and not the old "Ir." or "Ing.", since it's all unified under the bachelor-master EU unification thing (called the "Bologna Process"). No-one actually seems to do this though, everyone uses the old titles because all the HR people don't seem to know what an "MSc" is.

To get around the title restriction, many job descriptions/applications here use the English term "Engineer" instead, which then gets awkward when translated. People with a 3 year bachelors degree (called "Professional Bachelors" or "PBa") are often hired for EE or programming work, because they have more experience actually working, and they are cheaper.

I'm working on my MSc (Industrial Engineering) now, after first getting a PBa, because I wanted the practical diploma first. It hopefully will show prospect employers that I'm good on both the theory and practical sides. I hope to get into (embedded/low level) software.

The current job market for engineers is great, there is quite a shortage here, but a diploma is still required to get a good job. You won't get anywhere with just hobby projects, unless you have prior work experience.
And then the captain asks for an engineer over the VHF, he means the oil stained PBa’s 5 floors below, and not the clean shaven MSc sitting behind a desk 2 meters away...

Kidding aside, ship electricians are often MSc’s and are very hands on, from generators, to component level repair, to fixing computers.
And they are in short supply.
So for those looking to get their foot in, maybe an idea is spending 3 to 5 years at sea.
This will get you a very high level of experience not available on land because external contractors cannot be flown in most of the time, so you are going to fix that rotary converter with the manual, a multimeter and the available tools :)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Dries007 on January 29, 2019, 10:48:32 pm
And then the captain asks for an engineer over the VHF, he means the oil stained PBa’s 5 floors below, and not the clean shaven MSc sitting behind a desk 2 meters away...

Yup, that's why I'm going for both. I'd like to get the pay and the fun ;)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: onlyrgu on January 30, 2019, 12:12:19 am
If you want to make a big impression and really want to get an interview at a company here's one approach.

Make your CV as an A4/USletter sized PCB with black solder mask and gold/ENIG text. (US$74 for 5 pcs from elecrow.com)

The company is unlikely to throw something that looks that awesome into the bin :)
Even if you don't get the job your CV will probably hang around at the company for a while as a talking point :)

(Note the elecrow.com ENIG quality is a bit lacking, it thinner and doesn't look as 'gold' as the ENIG from other PCB fabs, but its cheap. PCBway is $165 for the same thing)

Or you can use your Creativity + Mircosoft Word
and make something like me!!
http://www.raghusoman.net/portfolio/Raghu_Soman_RnD_Engineer.pdf (http://www.raghusoman.net/portfolio/Raghu_Soman_RnD_Engineer.pdf)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: gildasd on January 30, 2019, 01:04:35 am
And then the captain asks for an engineer over the VHF, he means the oil stained PBa’s 5 floors below, and not the clean shaven MSc sitting behind a desk 2 meters away...

Yup, that's why I'm going for both. I'd like to get the pay and the fun ;)
But the oil stained PBa’s are officers, so get paid more and have better work/rest conditions.
Also officers can go up in grade at sea, to Chief, the engineering equivalent of captain (and same or better pay across the whole industry).
Electrical Engineer MSc seems to be the best balance of both worlds.
But MSc has it advantages like easier transfer to shore jobs and not having real responsibilities (as in life saving) to worry about.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: nixfu on January 30, 2019, 03:51:11 am
The IT Industry in the USA used to be exactly like this.  No one gave a crap where or if you went to school.  All that mattered is what you could do, and what you have done before. 

But, now in the USA with the current climate people with their easy degrees are starting to get consideration over those who have been in the industry since the early 90s and can run circles around them.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: MT on January 30, 2019, 04:53:11 am
Hmmmmm, yeah, the HR droids, the arrogant all knowing HR droids, who dragged them into the industry.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: BrianHG on January 30, 2019, 05:14:48 am
If you want to make a big impression and really want to get an interview at a company here's one approach.

Make your CV as an A4/USletter sized PCB with black solder mask and gold/ENIG text. (US$74 for 5 pcs from elecrow.com)

The company is unlikely to throw something that looks that awesome into the bin :)
Even if you don't get the job your CV will probably hang around at the company for a while as a talking point :)

(Note the elecrow.com ENIG quality is a bit lacking, it thinner and doesn't look as 'gold' as the ENIG from other PCB fabs, but its cheap. PCBway is $165 for the same thing)
     As said, for when I decide to do side contract PCB work, all I do is show around 3 of my larger PCB I've done in the past, and since they are all 100% manually routed, immaculately laid out, I never had a problem asking top dollar for my work.  Those who said NO all came crawling back within a few months and had no choice but to accept my now further increased price as I now get to solve the mess their engineers created.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: floobydust on January 30, 2019, 06:22:12 am
"Engineering Managers" are rarely professional engineers.

It's a huge problem because Joe Boss thinks he can make calls on safety and push engineers to skirt around it.
After all, he's the boss and not following his orders is "subordination". Even if Joe Boss is a PhD, he's not a PE, bound by a code of ethics hence not qualified (or liable) to make calls on safety, in designs or projects.

Many engineers-in-training, junior engineers fall into this trap.

You aren't allowed to use the word "engineering" in a company name or "engineer" in a job title, unless licensed and registered as such. But "engineering managers" can be anyone off the street...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: free_electron on January 30, 2019, 07:12:01 am
Mr Bean with a soldering iron, what could go wrong.
Very Little. Rowan Atkinson is actually an electronics engineer ....
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: free_electron on January 30, 2019, 07:16:24 am
You won't get anywhere with just hobby projects, unless you have prior work experience.
I am from Belgium and i beg to differ ... It all depends on the company and the people you run into.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: free_electron on January 30, 2019, 07:18:34 am
Some of the most commonly asked questions:
-
why did the light fall down ? Bad engineering  :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Otm831 on January 30, 2019, 08:30:01 am
Hi, Otm831!

I'm working as a computer engineer here in the UK, and I work surrounded by computer and electronic engineers. I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you don't need a formal education to work as a computer or electronic engineer, the bad news is that it's going to take you an incredible amount of effort to just get an opportunity to prove yourself.

Your best bet is to somehow make your way into an internship and get yourself noticed by key people. I know many people around me have no problems hiring first year students for an internship, and those usually know jack, so the requirements range from "having a good attitude" to "last year PhD students". Another good news is that internships in our field are paid, so you won't have to starve or burn through your savings. If you do really well and prove yourself in an internship, you can ask for open positions. Once we know you, it's easier to trust you.

Don't get me wrong, it's going to be hard and you're going to be turn down without an interview many times (if not most), but it's not impossible to get a job without a degree and/or experience. Once you get your first job and after two-four years of success at your job, degrees become irrelevant. What your managers and colleagues think of you and your ability is what matters.

If you're thinking about relocating outside of the UK, though, you will need a degree. Ideally, at least a master's. But, there are people who finish their degrees once they are already on the job, so don't give up on that just yet.

I want to wish you good luck and encourage you to pursue the career you want. Whenever you feel like it's impossible (and you probably will, at least a couple of times before you get your break), remember that you live in the country of Clive Sinclair and Chris Curry.

@JayNext, I thought as much :( I suppose the question then becomes is all the put downs worth the trouble? After leaving Uni I haven't really thought about what I would be doing if I was well enough to graduate, but I suppose from my current interests (albeit not huge amounts of time / resources / and a lack of project ideas!) embedded system development would be an area that I would have chosen. my C/C++ isn't up to par for the likes of large gui application development, but I know its more than enough for embedded systems, I have an stm32 Nucleo which I've done barebones, no library/Cube, type projects with over the last 5yrs (literally nothing, just proving how to communicate with various different modules Parallel/SPI/I2C - I was looking into I2S but it started getting too complex for 'non CUBE' type programming - ie not using CUBE to set all the peripherals up and using its methods, and I didn't want to jump into a different way of programming so quickly with the more advanced interfaces). I'm in my late 20's so I can think about it still!

I'm not in a position to afford the associated costs (unless UK tuition fees go back to being free!!!) of 'upgrading' the DipHE to a full BEng (basically jumping in with no real warm up opportunities to the final year of a Degree having been out of it for 5yrs) at either the original Uni, or any other institution. So what, if any, are peoples thoughts as to how I could (if even possible), work my way back in?

What subjects are left to do? Do you deem any of them to be hard/troublesome?

@EEVblog, namely the final project, and a couple of miscellaneous ones like a business module, but it's the final year project that's the scary one I suppose if you're attempting to go back into it after a 5yr hiatus (and there won't be huge amounts of time to get back into that 'zone'). In terms of upgrading the DipHE (which shows I did two full years of an Elec Eng degree) to the full BEng its more of a cost issue (£9,000 kinda issue).

I might do some digging around mind as it feels more achievable now than it ever has done in the last 5yrs! Thanks for the video, its certainly made me think that maybe that door isn't shut after all....
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Brumby on January 30, 2019, 08:50:22 am
Mr Bean with a soldering iron, what could go wrong.
Very Little. Rowan Atkinson is actually an electronics engineer ....
So... is Dave foreshadowing a career change, then?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: advark on January 30, 2019, 09:04:42 am
If you want to make a big impression and really want to get an interview at a company here's one approach.

Make your CV as an A4/USletter sized PCB with black solder mask and ENIG text. (US$74 for 5 pcs from elecrow.com)

The company is unlikely to throw something that looks that awesome into the bin :)
Even if you don't get the job your CV will probably hang around at the company for a while as a talking point :)

(Note the elecrow.com ENIG quality is a bit lacking, it thinner and doesn't look as 'gold' as the ENIG from other PCB fabs, but its cheap. PCBway is $165 for the same thing)

Flex PCB is the go. But no one mails in their resume any more.

Email the Gerber files... (Would love to see the face at the other end...)  :box:
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 30, 2019, 09:08:51 am
@EEVblog, namely the final project, and a couple of miscellaneous ones like a business module, but it's the final year project that's the scary one I suppose if you're attempting to go back into it after a 5yr hiatus (and there won't be huge amounts of time to get back into that 'zone'). In terms of upgrading the DipHE (which shows I did two full years of an Elec Eng degree) to the full BEng its more of a cost issue (£9,000 kinda issue).

The final project and business modules should be easy-peasy!
Plenty of on-line help available here with a final project if you get stuck.
And business stuff (at least the stuff I did) was pretty wishy-washy, certainly nothing that taxed any brain cells.

Quote
I might do some digging around mind as it feels more achievable now than it ever has done in the last 5yrs! Thanks for the video, its certainly made me think that maybe that door isn't shut after all....

It's not!  :-+
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 30, 2019, 09:10:46 am
"Engineering Managers" are rarely professional engineers.

I'm pretty sure that's were every single graduate of Sydney University EE ends up, because I've never met a practical engineer from USyd.
I did an open day student tour of Usyd once, and in one of the labs they had one of my DSOA digital scopes, they were perplexed when I said, "Hey, that's my design" and didn't believe me with an expression like I was some nutcase ::)
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: floobydust on January 30, 2019, 09:29:05 am
I went to school with students that took EE only because their parents told them to.
Realizing they have no talent or real interest there, they quickly go into management positions. There you can hide from actually producing something that works and blame problems on others.

I find the burden of PE is mainly about rolling out safe designs despite corporate pressure to just get something out the door, "safety is just a marketing ploy". I've had to quit jobs where the boss is a dick and won't respect that engineering has a duty to the public.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 30, 2019, 10:28:15 am
I went to school with students that took EE only because their parents told them to.

That was the vast majority of students I ran into too.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: EEVblog on January 30, 2019, 10:29:11 am
Mr Bean with a soldering iron, what could go wrong.
Very Little. Rowan Atkinson is actually an electronics engineer ....
So... is Dave foreshadowing a career change, then?

I have thought about joining a Theatresports group a few times...
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: free_electron on January 30, 2019, 11:31:33 am
If you see Rowans payslip .. one could only wonder.

Think about this one:

A huge semiconductor company spends billions of dollar every year in software licenses , hardware, machinery and employees and massive engineering effort . At the end of the year with all this massive investment they scrape a net profit of a few million $.
Someone , using only pencil and a stack of photocopy paper , penned a few texts , based on pure fantasy , and now has more money than the Queen of england.... ( J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter series )
Net investment vs gains ...

Who are the idiots now ?
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: snoopy on January 30, 2019, 11:32:34 am
Some of the most commonly asked questions:
- How do you become a professional electronics engineer?
- Can you be a professional engineer without a degree?
- How do you get an engineering job or contract job?

The different grade of engineering are also explained.
Professional engineers, Engineering Technologists, and Associate Engineers.

https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2018/12/federal-judge-finds-state-law-governing-who-is-an-engineer-violates-free-speech.html (https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2018/12/federal-judge-finds-state-law-governing-who-is-an-engineer-violates-free-speech.html)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tk13MijU4Y (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tk13MijU4Y)

You won't get very far in the US without a degree. These days most reputable companies in the US look for candidates with a Masters degree at the very least. A bachelors won't cut it anymore. In Australia they are not serious about technology anyway and there are plenty of risk averse shonks with some hare brained product idea only too willing to exploit an enthusiastic engineer who is willing to do it for next to nothing. I have no shortage of stories of engineers including myself who have been burned by these sorts of scammers. Number one rule is don't do things for nothing and number 2 rule is don't give your IP away ! If they going to give you nothing I can find a lot better things to do that also pays nothing like watching youtube videos etc and a lot less stressful too ! Of course sharing tips on a public forum with other like minded people is a different situation than sharing them with shonks ;)

cheers
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: SeoulBigChris on January 30, 2019, 04:18:13 pm
In the US, the issue of calling yourself an "engineer" was confusing (disclaimer, I have lived and worked in South Korea for over 15 years, and I let my PE license expired in 2002).

To legally use the term "Engineer", you not only needed an engineering degree (there were a few exceptions), you need to pass a pair of tests.  One test covers the fundamentals, is broad and covers many different branches of engineering.  Typically people take this test soon after graduating from college, while all that knowledge is still fresh in your mind.  Then four years later (it may vary by state), you take a professional engineers exam which it tailored to your declared area of expertise - Electrical in my case.  You also need a mentor or supervisor, also a PE, who will sign-up to having supervised your work during the four years.  After all of that, you get a PE license and can call yourself an Engineer.  Once licensed, you have to maintain the license with annual fees and continuing education (CE).  The CE wasn't too much trouble if you were working as an engineer - we had plenty of options for workshops, seminars, etc., put on by manufacturers and at trade shows.  Also, the local IEEE would sometimes have seminars, as well as online classes could count in many cases.  in fact, CE was the reason I let my license lapse, with all the travel and moving overseas, getting enough hours was just a nuisance. And....

... not once in my entire career did I ever use my PE license.  The whole system is geared for engineers working in the area of public safety, construction, etc.  In these fields, a responsible engineer has to sign and seal the final drawings which carries legal and liability ramifications.  As an electronics engineer, I never worked in that area.  The only reason I got my PE was that my mentors kept pushing it, and to be honest, it wasn't that difficult to get.  In fact, my university required graduating seniors to TAKE the fundamentals exam (not pass it, just take it) up until the year I graduated. Some interesting observations on the system:

* Even though the second test is in your specialty, there is no official designation. A mechanical, civil, and electrical engineer all have the same license.  As an Electrical engineer, the only thing legally keeping me from approving plans for a bridge was my professionalism, knowing that I wasn't competent as a bridge engineer.

* While engineers working in the public sector are subject to these regulations, engineers working for the government are not.  So a government engineer can design a bridge without a PE license, but a public engineer cannot.

* The regulations vary by state.  Some states have reciprocity agreements, it was helper skelter when I was licensed, maybe it has improved these days. 

* People without a PE license could not claim to be a Professional Engineer, e.g., use the PE suffix with their name, nor could they legally sign documents for safety-related designs.  In my opinion, this doesn't seem unreasonable.

* Where it gets crazy, is that people without a PE license, in theory, can't even call themselves an "engineer", as we saw in the Oregon case. This doesn't make sense to me.  In my city (Huntsville Alabama) there were hundreds, if not thousands, of engineers working on projects not related to public safety nor construction, all calling themselves "engineers", even on their business cards.  So this was a rule, but rarely enforced. I suppose if someone started a consulting company, and hung their shingle as "Bob's Engineering", they might draw some attention from the state licensing agency.  But in general, everyone in my situation flew under the radar.

Looking back, I probably would tell my younger self not to get it.  It wasn't directly helpful in my career.  But it wasn't a negative experience, either.  I enjoyed learning stuff from outside my field (in the case of the first test), and forcing myself to attend continuing education events over the years was good, I think.

About the Oregon case, I see two separate issues:

(1) an unlicensed person calling themselves an engineer
(2) an unlicensed person performing engineering services

Clearly from the ruling this month, #1 is not a problem (at least in Oregon). Regarding #2, in the situation which brought about the suit you could hardly call it "practicing engineering" in my opinion.  This fellow collected data and presented it to the city for their analysis.  They were free to examine it an evaluate it, and act on it or not.  Suppose someone thinks of an improved way to do a surgery, and sends his idea to a hospital to consider.  That person isn't "practicing medicine".  Anyway, I'll shut up, the Oregon courts finally got this right, although it took almost two years.

Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: VanitarNordic on January 30, 2019, 07:51:35 pm
That's a very good point that in Australia nobody cares about your degree and who are you or where you come from. Just experience and if you are nice and polite.

I was in Sweden before, the only thing that was important was your favorite or connection who put you somewhere in a typical company, not your personal qualifications. otherwise, they easily and silently put your resume in the trash box because you are a "foreigner"
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 31, 2019, 01:59:25 am
So... is Dave foreshadowing a career change, then?
What change? He's already running a comedy channel! ;D
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Barny on January 31, 2019, 03:47:10 am
Here in Austria there many manager & engineers.
The therm is used this inflationaire, it's ridicolous.

I knew many companies, which sorts out "real" engineeres, because selfe thought people and similar have often better practical knowledge & better intuition.


But the advice to mail the people direct here in Austria backfires most of the time.
Because they dont have the time to bother about searching for new worker.
Most time it gets you on the blacklist and you'll get sorted out automatically.

Its more important to send the data in the right format.
The company in which I work for example deletes job application e-mails with zip or similar compression formates or word documents like *.docm without being looked at because of security problems.
The best is to use PDF
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Mr. Scram on January 31, 2019, 03:58:38 am
Here in Austria there many manager & engineers.
The therm is used this inflationaire, it's ridicolous.

I knew many companies, which sorts out "real" engineeres, because selfe thought people and similar have often better practical knowledge & better intuition.


But the advice to mail the people direct here in Austria backfires most of the time.
Because they dont have the time to bother about searching for new worker.
Most time it gets you on the blacklist and you'll get sorted out automatically.

Its more important to send the data in the right format.
The company in which I work for example deletes job application e-mails with zip or similar compression formates or word documents like *.docm without being looked at because of security problems.
The best is to use PDF
Pdf isn't any more secure, but it doesn't surprise companies weed out people for imagined reasons.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: LapTop006 on January 31, 2019, 09:27:49 am
Its more important to send the data in the right format.
The company in which I work for example deletes job application e-mails with zip or similar compression formates or word documents like *.docm without being looked at because of security problems.
The best is to use PDF
Pdf isn't any more secure, but it doesn't surprise companies weed out people for imagined reasons.

More critically, send it in the format asked for if you're applying based on an ad. Possibly not as common outside IT jobs, but there it's common to use submission in the specified format as a basic competence bar.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: Dundarave on January 31, 2019, 11:33:53 am
I've been on both sides of the degree vs no degree issue:  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend full-time for a 4-year EE degree after 15 years of being an electronics repair tech (self-taught & with significant on-the-job mentoring and years of subsequent experience) after dropping out of school at 16.

The tech job was great: After 15 years I was at the "top of the heap" inside the company, but no other company would even look at my resume due to my lack of formal education, and no further advancement was realistically possible.  I had always wanted to be a P. Eng. (as they are labelled in Canada), in any event, and realized that it was going to be key for me to advance further.  My kindergarten teacher had also prophesied that I would one day be an engineer! (she didn't specify what discipline, lol.)

I'll skip to the relevant points of what I've learned:

- Most organizations, big and small, when soliciting for resumes, end up splitting them into two piles:  no & maybe.

- The key is to either do whatever you need to do to get into the "maybe" category or

- Bypass the initial resume screening by having an acquaintance of one form or another get your resume in front of the decision-makers, bypassing the HR department or the clerk opening the mail and sorting the resumes.

If you don't have what it takes to "tick the boxes" and make it to the "maybe" pile, then you are going to have to do a whole bunch of personal marketing and make as many friends as you can who either work for, or are in a position to influence, those who are responsible for making hiring decisions.

Join meet-ups, hang out in pubs where the techs have beers after work, whatever:  if you don't have the formal credentials being asked for, you're going to need to make friends who can tell you about openings, and who will feel comfortable about taking your resume in and telling them what a great guy/gal you are, and how they know you personally, blah blah.

Many larger companies (at least here in Canada) have incentive plans that actually bonus employees for referring candidates that are ultimately hired.

The takeaway from all this tldr is that yes, it's not fair that you get ignored simply because you don't have the formal credentials, but there is a way around it.  And secondly, when you are in this situation, finding employment really is all about "who you know".
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: JayNext on January 31, 2019, 07:59:35 pm

@JayNext, I thought as much :( I suppose the question then becomes is all the put downs worth the trouble?

That's always a personal decision. The job is, more often than not, frustrating, which is something you can probably say about any job. But over the years I found that what makes the bad parts of a job bearable are your colleagues, and I found the smartest and most like-minded people in engineering. Personally, I love working surrounded by really smart people, learning from them and chatting with them about anything over a coffee. And if you're an engineer at heart, you won't find anything more satisfying than solving an engineering problem.

After leaving Uni I haven't really thought about what I would be doing if I was well enough to graduate, but I suppose from my current interests (albeit not huge amounts of time / resources / and a lack of project ideas!) embedded system development would be an area that I would have chosen. my C/C++ isn't up to par for the likes of large gui application development, but I know its more than enough for embedded systems, I have an stm32 Nucleo which I've done barebones, no library/Cube, type projects with over the last 5yrs (literally nothing, just proving how to communicate with various different modules Parallel/SPI/I2C - I was looking into I2S but it started getting too complex for 'non CUBE' type programming - ie not using CUBE to set all the peripherals up and using its methods, and I didn't want to jump into a different way of programming so quickly with the more advanced interfaces). I'm in my late 20's so I can think about it still!

Don't worry too much about the specifics of the position, big companies will have opportunities to move to different positions, spend periods of time in different teams working on different projects, and help you find your place. If you're still in you're late 20's, most of your professional career is still ahead of you, you're just starting!

On a more personal note, if all you have left is one course and the bachelor thesis, you've effectively finished your degree. You've already completed the hard part, all that's left is a bit of hard work and a test. I believe it's worth the trouble (and the money). Even if it doesn't lead to a job, finishing is the only thing that will give you peace of mind. Anyone who's been in your situation (and I have many friends who have) will agree, you will not be able to shake off that feeling of urgency and "unfinished business" until you actually finish.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: jnissen on February 06, 2019, 10:15:06 am
Light in the background is the most annoying item I have seen. I guess that make me an engineer.  :-DD
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: HalFET on February 18, 2019, 06:12:09 am
Over here "Engineer" is a protected title, like PhD or doctor! You are not legally allowed to call yourself an "Ingenieur" (the translated term) without a 4 year Master of Science ("MSc")!
Then there is a difference between  "Civil Engineer" and "Industrial Engineer":
"MSc in Engineering" or "MSc Bio-engineer"  (title "ingenieur" or "Ir."),  "MSc in Industrial Engineering" or "MSc in Bio-sciences" (title "Industrieel ingenieur", or "Ing.")
Strictly by the letter of the law (https://data-onderwijs.vlaanderen.be/edulex/document.aspx?docid=12722) "ingenieur" is protected in Flanders. But as far as I know you can get away with calling yourself "ingenieur" in a job title as long as you avoid "industrieel", "burgerlijk" or some other protected term. And you probably don't want to go around putting it on legal documents or using the ir. or Ing. prefixes. In industry no one really cares as far as I know, except maybe the same folks who care about the difference between Ing. and ir.? And honestly, all the people I've run into that insist on even making the distinction between ir. and ing. are usually twats of the highest order who feel insecure.

Officially new graduates since 2004 only are supposed to only use the "MSc" title, and not the old "Ir." or "Ing.", since it's all unified under the bachelor-master EU unification thing (called the "Bologna Process"). No-one actually seems to do this though, everyone uses the old titles because all the HR people don't seem to know what an "MSc" is.
First time I've heard this one.

The current job market for engineers is great, there is quite a shortage here, but a diploma is still required to get a good job. You won't get anywhere with just hobby projects, unless you have prior work experience.
You'd be surprised, experience outweighs titles in many cases. For the consultancy-firm ones I'll agree, the title is the only way to get in. But for proper EE work in small to medium sized businesses it's simply a matter of how you contact them. People will gladly hire someone who actually knows how to build a circuit. Most of the decent job interviews I've had so far included a technical round of questioning and paid very limited attention to degrees. The main reason why schooling came up was usually when talking about dissertation projects, at which point it's usually a good idea to pull out the book you wrote, a tablet containing the PDF, or even the device you built.

Yup, that's why I'm going for both. I'd like to get the pay and the fun ;)
Yes and no, really depends on what you're willing to do and the management is usually the limiting factor. They don't like their expensive engineering staff spending time doing "technician's work". And then there's the entire job description and insurance issue. That being said, there is no substitute for practical experience when it comes to understanding manufacturing processes, helping out your colleagues is the nice thing to do and it buys you a huge amount of credit with the manufacturing staff. Don't underestimate the effect of having manufacturing take your side when you're in a pickle. (Scheduling is quite flexible when a crate of beer is involved  ^-^ )

When applying for jobs in Belgium I found that the cover letter is usually the most important bit, the resume itself serves as starting point for interviews but rarely seems to be the deciding factor. Pretty much every job interview involved technical questions and a rather extensive talk about non-work related subjects, so in many ways its similar to the situation described by Dave.

Also, the primary reason to get a PhD in engineering is the fact that you are then labeled as a "highly skilled immigrant" when applying for working visas. In Belgium it's also sort of worth it for tax reasons, but feel free to poke me if you want to hear about that bit.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: tggzzz on February 18, 2019, 08:12:47 am
Here in the UK it's hard to get a job without a qualification. Not sure what it's like now, but in my uni days the courses were all 75% maths and 25% subject material.

The public actually support this situation, and that arises because they don't understand what the word 'maths' means in this context. They mostly think it means arithmetic, and can't understand why it wouldn't be a good thing for engineer candidates to be able to add subtract or multiply. Well, yes, I'd agree that if you can't do arithmetic then you shouldn't go into engineering of any kind.

If the public saw what is actually included in the maths section of degree courses though, their jaws would probably drop in consternation.  :wtf:  Much of it verges on abstract philosophy, and has not the slightest relevance to engineering.  :-// For example, dissertations over why the number one is not the same as the number two. Or whatever.

The consequence is that all science and engineering courses have a 'Maths Barrier' associated with them. Unless you have a love of abstract maths, you are going to be bored to tears by 75% of the course work. If it was 25% you might decide to grit your teeth and struggle through. But when it's most of the course, not many have the determination to do that. 

In my experience "the courses were all 75% maths and 25% subject material" is either wrong or a gross simplification, based on a detailed interpretation of those words.

Yes, there is a lot of maths - inevitably. But in my experience there is one dedicated maths class, and all the electronic engineering classes contain the maths necessary for that class.

Now the dedicated maths class can be (arguably should be) "pure maths", but any decent class will only include maths that might be relevant in the rest of your 40 year career. That's very broad, encompassing everything from perfect binary arrays to Cauchy integration to Fourier transforms to queueing theory, and many other topics. Some of the topics I learned only became of interest to me a decade later!

Any electronic engineering class that does not involve maths is likely to be trivial and to be avoided.

Quote
The issue I see here (and have met in practice) is that it predisposes for degree holders in virtually all disciplines being primarily abstract mathematicians, and only secondarily engineers or scientists. Put these people in a lab or workshop and they quickly break all the equipment because they haven't a sodding clue how to do real work.  Put them in a software house and they will come up with all kinds of pie in the sky ideas. (Ever seen evidence of this? -Silly question.)

Decent courses from decent universities use theory to guide practice, plus practice to inform theory. Such courses and universities existed when I got a degree, and haven't changed since then.

Quote
I used to train people in bench work, and the worst guys to deal with were the ones with professional qualifications. All they did was to write down and then memorize everything you said to them. This they mostly did by writing it out over an over again. They hadn't a clue what the words meant, though. Most couldn't solder if their life depended on it, they would cut themselves if given any kind of sharp tool, and perhaps most surprisingly, couldn't do simple mental arithmetic like say what current will flow in a 1M resistor with 1v across it.  :palm:

I've never understood what "professional qualifications" means; I'd be grateful if someone would enlighten me.

If it means "learned on the job", then I'll probably agree with you.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: tggzzz on February 18, 2019, 08:19:28 am
When applying for jobs in Belgium I found that the cover letter is usually the most important bit, the resume itself serves as starting point for interviews but rarely seems to be the deciding factor. Pretty much every job interview involved technical questions and a rather extensive talk about non-work related subjects, so in many ways its similar to the situation described by Dave.

Cover letter encourages someone to read the CV.
CV intrigues people sufficiently that you get an interview, and you are grilled on your claims. Possibly beneficial to include a section of buzzwords, to get past "AI" (cough) filters.

Quote
Also, the primary reason to get a PhD in engineering is the fact that you are then labeled as a "highly skilled immigrant" when applying for working visas.

The best reason for doing a PhD is "because I want to". Increased salary and/or increased job opportunities are questionable reasons.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: HalFET on February 18, 2019, 09:02:19 am
Cover letter encourages someone to read the CV.
CV intrigues people sufficiently that you get an interview, and you are grilled on your claims. Possibly beneficial to include a section of buzzwords, to get past "AI" (cough) filters.
A few remarks about this:
a) Where? Large or small company. At large companies you'll get filtered out by HR drones anyway if you have to depend on your cover letter to get in.
b) You can really screw with the AI software by using a PDF editor and putting text behind a white box or filling in the meta information fields. Though some seem to be catching onto that by now.
c) Forgot an important bit: go to job fairs. Five minutes of talking can get you further than any PDF attached to an email.
d) CVs are highly dependent on the country, check what's the local norm and work towards that. i.e. In some countries a picture on a CV will get you banished while in others it's defacto mandatory.

The best reason for doing a PhD is "because I want to". Increased salary and/or increased job opportunities are questionable reasons.
That's quite obvious, but lets be frank about this subject for a minute: You're never going to get a PhD if you don't want it, it's a worthless scrap of paper that's not worth the effort invested into it. You have virtually no social life for four to six years, the pay per hour is lousy, its extremely stressful, it barely advances your career, you get to be infuriated with teaching assignments, the salary increase is negligible and it also shuts down many job opportunities (speaking from experience). And for all of that you get a piece of paper, a stupid cap or hat, a sword if you're lucky enough to live in Finland (most likely not done here to avoid decapitations of PhD supervisors), and the opportunity to make lame doctor jokes. Arguably, the last bit is probably the most valuable as far as return on investment goes if you exclude the visa advantage.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: tggzzz on February 18, 2019, 09:50:27 am
All good points.

The main reason for mentioning "because I want to" is to cut through many reasons that sound good, but (in the UK at least), are only rarely valid.
Title: Re: EEVblog #1175 - How To Become A Professional Engineer
Post by: HalFET on February 18, 2019, 10:47:34 am
All good points.

The main reason for mentioning "because I want to" is to cut through many reasons that sound good, but (in the UK at least), are only rarely valid.
There is a valid financial reason to do it in some European countries, you get paid slightly below what you would in industry but your pay is categorised as a non-taxable fellowship. As a result you pay zero income tax and it's a net profit compared to an industry job. And at least here it's relatively easy to get into a PhD program if your grades are okayish during your masters.